SoundCloud is laying off 20 percent of its workforce


SoundCloud is joining the depressingly long list of companies in the tech industry that are letting personnel go due to the economic downturn. According to Billboard and Variety, company CEO Michael Weissman told employees in an email that it’s “making reductions” to its global team that will impact up to 20 percent of SoundCloud. Weissman said the move is necessary “given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds.” Furthermore, the layoffs and the prudent financial decisions the company had recently made apparently put it on the path to sustained profitability.

A spokesperson has confirmed the job cuts to Billboard, adding that SoundCloud is providing support to employees who have to exit the company. The last online audio distribution platform laid off a significant chunk of its workforce — 40 percent in all — back in 2017, when it was struggling financially. As Billboard notes, SoundCloud has secured hundreds of millions of investments and has announced its first profitable quarter in 2020 since then.

In 2021, the company introduced a listener-based royalties model that could lead to better pay for indie artists, since subscribers’ payments go straight to the artists they listen to. Warner Music Group recently adopted the model, becoming the first major label to do so. SoundCloud too purchased an AI music curation company called Musiio in May to help users find hidden gems before they make it big. Musiio’s technology listens to songs, tags them and then inserts them into appropriate playlists.

Based on SoundCloud’s LinkedIn profile, it has 1,707 employees at the moment. If that figure is correct, around 340 people will lose their jobs. Weissman said in his email to staff members that the layoffs will affect employees in the US and the UK, who will be notified in the coming days.

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